Candidate Platforms for Vice-Chairman

Rechenmacher, Alex

Greetings! My name is Alex Rechenmacher and I am running to be re-elected as your Director of Chapter Affairs. I am an Aerospace Engineer from a large suburbia city, Naperville, Illinois. From an early age, I have always been excited about the prospect of space travel and furthermore was angered that most talk about space exploration ended up in my history books rather than my science books! After spending most of my younger grade school years learning about our Solar System and nearby stars, my interest turned to rocketry in high school. At Naperville North High School, I busied myself with my baseball team, Church activities, and math and science (and excelling in all except baseball, but I still watch games). My skills and my interests converged nicely with my acceptance to Illinois' Aerospace Engineering program (with a Business Minor). Once here, under the inspiration of my peers and family, I quickly involved myself with many organizations, including Sigma Phi Delta Engineering Fraternity and AIAA. My most rewarding accomplishment has been my involvement with the Illinois Space Society. From four enthused members, we have grown to over 50 in just under a year. Being our Engineering Open House Director last year and seeing how a simple video of a rocket can excite a five year old kid motivates me to no end. I use this, the example set by the new private space industry, and working with my peers to keep myself constantly willing to work towards my goals.

Goals for 2005:
As a member of the national board for almost a year now, I've had an excellent chance to work with so many people that are so enthused about space exploration. I would like to run for the position of Vice-Chair of Students for the Exploration and Development of Space. Inspired by what I have seen for the last 12 months, I can assure you that I want for nothing more than to see SEDS grow and prosper. The sky is the limit if we can continue to develop in the way that we have. If you would elect me as your Vice-Chair, I would appreciate nothing more than to be a large part of what I see SEDS soon becoming. You will probably hear it more than once at the conference, but the future of space exploration literally rests on people like us and our ability to execute our goals.

In addition to assisting our chair, my number one priority would be to re-establish the Board of Advisors from its remains. My goal would be to tirelessly attempt to contact new people interested in our ever-growing organization. The Board of Advisors is a very strong part of what SEDS is ideally becoming. While we rely on the youth to make the decisions of tomorrow, ultimately we are standing on the shoulders of our predecessors to achieve our collective goals. I believe that establishing this board will be a wonderful way to not only increase communication between SEDS and the "real" world, but a way to strengthen the permanence of SEDS.

In addition to creating a Board of Advisors, I would also work with our Special Projects Chair to re-create an Alumni database. As with our Board of Advisors, contact with our alumni is crucial to our staying power. Our time in SEDS, without an alumni organization, is limited to a brief four years. Through our alumni, SEDS membership can last a lifetime.

This past year, I have seen what just a few people working diligently can accomplish. As Director of Chapter Affairs, I worked hard to make that "few" people into "many" people. As Vice-Chair, my objective would be to see just how much can be accomplished when MANY people work together and work effectively. Thank you.

Nelson, Josh

Born March 17, 1985. Passionetly involved in Science and Space exploration in a leadership role, beginning with the Westport Astronomical Society Next Generation, serving as President of that club for 5 years, Vice President for 3 years. Co-founder/President of Masuk High School Astronomy club. Astronomy/Physics major at University of Arizona, with a potential minor in Planetary Science. Served as the driving force to bring SEDS-Arizona out of the ashes and resurect the club. Eternal gadfly to the SEDS executive board.

Goals for 2005:
The problem with National Conferences, trips, online meetings, and the rest of SEDS sponsored events over the past two years, has been that they only truly involve the students in the host chapter, and the National Board. This fall, when SEDS Illinois and Arizona went to the X-Prize launch, the only members of the chapters truly excited about meeting the other chapter, were those who planned the trip/meeting (Kirk, Alex, and myself). The rest of our respective chapters wandered the field with the meeting seeming more of an inconvience.

It is my belief that to truly restore the community feeling of SEDS on a National level, we need to reinstate a SEDS National project. Back in the hay day of SEDS, the SEDS SATs brought numerous chapters together on the premise of doing what no student could do alone, launch a satalite into Earth orbit to conduct real scientific experiments. This brought about a high level of cooperation and participation beyond what anyone could imagine possible.

In a National Project, students from across the country will be working in tandum towards a common goal. Such team cooperation will help students meet and work with others across the country, establishing contacts and forming experiances that will shape the rest of their lives. The SEDS constitution states that one of the main purposes of SEDS is "to coordinate the efforts of students in the United States of America who are interested in promoting space exploration and development;" (Article 1, Section 2) I propose we return to that original intention of SEDS, and pool our efforts to accomplish something truly remarkable.

To this end, several projects that I believe are well within our reach and I would propose are:

These are only a few of my proposed project ideas. The final project to be funded/researched will be up to the chapters, whichever will get the most chapters interested.